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College Sports, Division III, Education

NCAA Division III Secondary Case Review: Extra-Benefits

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm continues its educational series on NCAA Division III legislation through a review of selected cases involving secondary rules-violations. Today’s post reviews a secondary case involving a violation of NCAA Division III Bylaw 16.02.3.

NCAA Division III Bylaw 16.02.3: Extra-Benefit

An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete’s relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.  Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.

The bylaw was cited in Secondary Case Number 46875 (March 20, 2008), which involved the institution’s women’s tennis program. The case is summarized below:

Facts: On November 2, 2007, the head women’s tennis coach impermissibly gave a student host more than $20 in entertainment funds for a prospective student-athlete’s (PSA’s) official visit.  In addition, the coach impermissibly paid for the meals of five women’s tennis student-athletes (SAs).  Specifically, on November 2, 2007, five women’s tennis SAs accompanied the PSA and her host to a meal on the PSA’s official visit.  The total cost of the meal for the party was $62.71, and the coach reimbursed the student host for the entire amount.

Institution Action: On December 12, the compliance and eligibility coordinator met with the coach to review the event with him. In January when the women’s tennis team players returned to the campus for second semester, the compliance and eligibility coordinator met with the five SAs that were in attendance at the meal. The institution then collected $42.71 total form the SAs that was above and beyond the $20. The $42.71 was turned into the local charity.

Enforcement Action: The institution should be required to issue a letter of admonishment to the coach.o further action.  However,the prospects are ineligible for intercollegiate competition at the institution until they make restitution for the value of the impermissible benefit.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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